PICS: A book of condolences for Muhammad Ali has been opened in Ennis 3 years ago

PICS: A book of condolences for Muhammad Ali has been opened in Ennis

A chance to pay your respects to The Greatest.

The world lost an icon when Muhammad Ali passed away at the weekend at the age of 74.

Arguably the greatest and most influential sports person of all time, his influence extended far beyond the boxing ring and his loss was mourned around the world when the news of his death broke.

Ali had links with Ireland, having fought Alvin Lewis in Croke Park in July 1972, while he also had connections with Ennis in Clare, where his ancestor Abe Grady lived before emigrating to the US in the 1860s.

Relatives of Ali gathered with Elected Members and Clare County Council officials at Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis on Tuesday to officially open a Book of Condolence in memory of Ali, who was made an Honorary Freeman of Ennis during his visit to the town in September 2009.

Members of the public are invited to sign the Book which will remain open to the public until 5pm on Friday next, June 10. Standard office opening hours will apply.

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Among the first people to sign the Book of Condolence were Imelda O’Grady and Mary O’Donovan, distant relatives of the three-time World Heavyweight Champion.

Also present were Cllr. Pat Daly (Mayor of Ennis), Cllr. Mary Howard (Leas Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council), Frankie Neylon (Mayor of Ennis when Ali visited the town in 2009) and Gerard Dollard (Interim Chief Executive).

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Cllr. Pat Daly said Muhammad Ali was "one of the most recognisable men on earth and remained a magical figure, known and loved throughout the world throughout his life".

"The people of Ennis and County Clare are very proud of their association with Mr. Ali and his passing will be particularly felt in Ennis where his visit seven years ago marked one of the greatest days in the town's history with 30,000 people lining the streets”, added the Mayor.

"We were honoured that he accepted Ennis Town Council’s offer of becoming the town’s first Honorary Freeman in recognition of his unrivalled sporting achievements on the world stage, and his contribution to educational and charitable causes through his global fundraising foundation," said Cllr. Daly.